Songs of the American Civil War

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

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    On the General Forum there are about a dozen threads dealing with the late great unpleasantness. Thought we would start a thread here on MUSIC in the war.

    Southern, Northern, Black, Songs of Home and Campfire, Religious - lots of possibilities. This was my specialization in post-grad studies so I have tons of info to share . . IF there is interest.

    DIXIE'S LAND
    I wish I was in de land ob cotton
    Old times dar am not forgotten
    Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
    In Dixie Land whar I was born in
    Early on one frosty mornin',
    Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

    Chorus:
    Den I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
    In Dixie Land I'll take my stand, To lib and die in Dixie.
    Away, away, away down south in Dixie
    Away, away, away down south in Dixie

    Dar's buckwheat cakes and injun batter,
    Makes you fat or a little fatter,
    Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
    Den hoe it down, and scratch your grabble,
    To Dixie's Land I'm bound to trabble,
    Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    GOOBER PEAS

    Sitting by the roadside on a summer day,
    Chatting with my messmates, passing time away,
    Lying in the shadow underneath the trees,
    Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas!

    Chorus:
    Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! eating goober peas!
    Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas!

    When the horseman passes, the soldiers have a rule
    To cry out at their loudest, "Mister, here's your mule!"
    But another pleasure enchantinger than these, is
    Wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas!

    Just before the battle, the Gen'ral hears a row,
    He says, "The Yanks are coming I hear their rifles now."
    He turns around in wonder and what do you think he sees
    - The Georgia Militia, eating goober peas!

    I think my song has lasted almost long enough,
    The subject's interesting, but rhymes are might rough;
    I wish the war was over, when free from rags and fleas,
    We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts, and gobble goober peas!
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    THE BONNIE BLUE FLAG

    We are a band of brothers, and native to the soil,
    Fighting for our liberty, with treasure blood, and toil.
    And when our rights were threaten'd, the cry rose near and far,
    Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag, that bears a single star!

    Chorus:
    Hurrah! Hurrah! for Southern rights, hurrah!
    Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag, that bears a single star!

    As long as the Union was faithful to her trust,
    Like friends and like brethren, kind were we and just;
    But now, when Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar,
    We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

    First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand,
    Then came Alabama and took her by the hand;
    Next quickly, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida,
    All raised on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

    Ye men of valor gather 'round the banner of the right,
    Texas and fair Louisiana join us in the fight;
    With Davis, our lov'd President, Stephens statesmen rare,
    We'll rally 'round the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

    And here's to brave Virginia, the Old Dominion State,
    With the young Confed'racy at length has linked her fate;
    Impelled by her example, now other states prepare
    To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

    Then cheer boys, cheer, raise a joyous shout
    For Arkansas and North Carolina now have both gone out;
    And let another rousing cheer for Tennessee be given,
    The single star of the Bonnie Blue Flag has grown to be eleven.

    Then here's to our Confed'racy, strong we are and brave,
    Like patriots of old we'll fight, our heritage to save;
    And rather than submit to shame, to die we would prefer,
    So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS

    There's a yellow rose of Texas, that I am going to see,
    No other darkey knows her, no darkey only me;
    She cried so when I left her it like to broke her heart,
    And if I ever find her, we never more will part.

    Chorus:
    She's the sweetest rose of color this darkey ever knew,
    Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew;
    You may talk about your dearest May, and sing of Rosa Lee,
    But the Yellow Rose of Texas beats the belles of Tennessee.

    Where the Rio Grand is flowing and the stormy skies are bright,
    She walks along the river in the quiet summer night;
    She thinks if I remember, when we parted long ago,
    I promised to come back again and not to leave her so.

    Oh, now I'm going to find her, for my heart is full of woe,
    I'm going south to Georgia, to find my Uncle Joe;
    You may talk about your Beauregard and sing of Bob E. Lee,
    But the gallant Hood of Texas, he played hell in Tennessee.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    WAIT FOR THE WAGON

    Will you come with me, my Phyllis, to yon blue mountain free;
    Where the blossoms smell the sweetest, come rove along with me.
    It's every Sunday morning when you are by my side
    We'll jump into the wagon and all take a ride.

    Chorus:
    Wait for the wagon, wait for the wagon,
    The South is the wagon and we'll all take a ride.

    Where the river runs like silver and the winds they sing so sweet,
    I have a cabin, Phyllis, and something good to eat.
    Come listen to my story, on it you can rely,
    Then jump into the wagon and all take a ride.
     
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    ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC

    All quiet along the Potomac tonight,
    Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming,
    And their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon,
    And the lights of the campfires are gleaming.
    A tremulous sigh, as the gentle night wind
    Through the forest leaves slowly is creeping.
    While the stars up above, with their glittering eyes,
    Keep guard o'er the army while sleeping.
    All quiet along the Potomac tonight.

    There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread
    As he tramps from the rock to the fountain.
    And he thinks of the two in the low trundle bed
    Far away in the cot on the mountain.
    His musket falls slack--his face dark and grim
    Grows gentle with memories tender,
    As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep
    And their mother--May Heaven defend her.
    All quiet along the Potomac tonight.

    Then drawing his sleeves roughly over his eyes.
    He dashes off tears that are welling;
    And gathers his gun close up to his breast
    As if to keep the heart swelling;
    He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree,
    And his footstep is lagging and weary;
    Yet onward he goes, thru the broad belt of light,
    Toward the shades of the forest so dreary.
    All quiet along the Potomac tonight.

    Hark! was it the night wind that rustles the leaves?
    Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing?
    It looked like a rifle, no merry good-bye,
    And his life-blood was ebbing and splashing.
    All quiet along the Potomac tonight.
    No sound, save the rush of the river;
    While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead:
    The picket's off-duty forever.
    All quiet along the Potomac tonight.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    TENTING TONIGHT

    We're tenting tonight on the old Camp ground,
    Give us a song to cheer
    Our weary hearts, a song of home,
    And friends we love so dear.

    Chorus:
    Many are the hearts that are weary tonight,
    Wishing for the war to cease.
    Many are the hearts looking for the right
    To see the dawn of peace.
    Tenting tonight, tenting tonight,
    Tenting on the old camp ground.

    We are tired of war on the old Camp ground,
    Many are dead and gone,
    Of the brave and true who've left their homes,
    Others been wounded long.

    We've been fighting today on the old Camp ground,
    Many are lying near;
    Some are dead, and some are dying,
    Many are in tears.

    Chorus:
    Many are the hearts that are weary tonight,
    Wishing for the war to cease.
    Many are the hearts looking for the right
    To see the dawn of peace.
    Dying tonight, dying tonight,
    Dying on the old camp ground.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    THE VACANT CHAIR

    We shall meet, but we shall miss him,
    There will be one vacant chair;
    We shall linger to caress him
    While we breathe our evening prayer.
    When one year ago we gathered,
    Joy was in his mild blue eye;
    Now the golden cord is severed,
    And our hopes in ruins lie.

    Chorus:
    We shall meet, but we shall miss him,
    There will be one vacant chair;
    We shall linger to caress him
    While we breathe our evening prayer.

    At our fireside, sad and lonely,
    Often will the bosom swell
    At remembrance of the story
    How our noble Willie fell;
    How he strove to bear our banner
    Thru' the thickest of the fight,
    And uphold our country's honor
    In the strength of manhood's might.

    True they tell us wreaths of glory
    Evermore will deck his brow,
    But this soothes the anguish only
    Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
    Sleep today, O early fallen
    In thy green and narrow bed,
    Dirges from the pine and cypress
    Mingle with the tears we shed.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    THE FADED COAT OF BLUE

    My brave lad he sleeps in his faded coat of blue;
    In a lonely grave unknown lies a heart that beat so true.
    He sank faint and hungry among the famish'd brave,
    And they laid him sad and lonely within his nameless grave.

    Chorus:
    No more the bugle calls the weary one,
    Rest, noble spirit, in thy grave unknown!
    I'll find you, and know you, among the good and true,
    When a robe of white is giv'n for a faded coat of blue.

    He cried "Give me water, and just a little crumb,
    And my mother she will bless you thru all the years to come;
    Oh, tell my sweet sister, so gentle, good and true,
    That I'll meet her up in heaven, in my faded coat of blue.

    No sweet voice was there breathing soft a mother's prayer,
    But there's One who takes the brave and the true in tender care;
    No stone marks the sod o'er my lad so brave and true
    In his lonely grave he sleeps in his faded coat of blue.
     
  10. KenH

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    Can you provide midi files so we can match melodies with the words? I know the Yellow Rose of Texas and Dixie tunes.
     
  11. TaterTot

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    Grew up knowing most of these! I have an interest in civil war music as well. Got several music books and recipe books from that time period. Keep 'em comin'!!!
     
  12. I Am Blessed 24

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    John Brown's Body

    (ANONYMOUS/WILLIAM STEFFE) (1860)

    John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
    John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
    John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
    His soul is marching on.
    CHORUS:
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    His soul is marching on.

    He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord,
    He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord,
    He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord,
    His soul is marching on!

    John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
    John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
    John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
    His soul is marching on!

    His pet lambs will meet him on the way,
    His pet lambs will meet him on the way,
    His pet lambs will meet him on the way,
    They go marching on!

    They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree,
    They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree,
    They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree,
    As they march along!

    Now, three rousing cheers for the Union,
    Now, three rousing cheers for the Union,
    Now, three rousing cheers for the Union,
    As we are marching on!
     
  13. I Am Blessed 24

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    Battle Hymn of the Republic

    (JULIA WARD HOWE/WILLIAM STEFFE) (1861)

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
    His truth is marching on.
    CHORUS:
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    His truth is marching on.

    I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
    They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
    I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
    His day is marching on.

    I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel!
    "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you My grace shall deal!
    Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,"
    Since God is marching on.

    He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
    Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!
    Our God is marching on.

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
    As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
    While God is marching on.
     
  14. I Am Blessed 24

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    Just Before the Battle, Mother

    (GEORGE F. ROOT) (1860s)

    Just before the battle, mother,
    I am thinking most of you,
    While upon the field we're watching
    With the enemy in view.

    Comrades brave are 'round me lying,
    Filled with thoughts of home and God
    For well they know that on the morrow,
    Some will sleep beneath the sod.
    CHORUS:

    Farewell, mother, you may never
    Press me to your breast again,
    But, oh, you'll not forget me, mother,
    If I'm numbered with the slain.

    Oh, I long to see you, mother,
    And the loving ones at home,
    But I'll never leave our banner,
    Till in honor I can come.

    Tell the traitors all around you
    That their cruel words we know,
    In every battle kill our soldiers
    By the help they give the foe.

    Hark! I hear the bugles sounding,
    'Tis the signal for the fight,
    Now, may God protect us, mother,
    As He ever does the right.

    Hear the "Battle-Cry of Freedom,"
    How it swells upon the air,
    Oh, yes, we'll rally 'round the standard,
    Or we'll perish nobly there.
     
  15. I Am Blessed 24

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    TWO SOLDIERS

    (trad.) (1800s)

    It was just before the last fierce charge,
    Two soldiers drew their rein,
    With a parting word and a touch of the hand,
    They never might meet again.

    One had light blue eyes and curly hair,
    Nineteen but a month ago, --
    There was red on his cheek and down on his chin
    He's only a boy you know.
    The other was tall, dark, stern, and proud,
    His fate in this world seem'd dim;
    But he only trusted the more to those
    Who were all in this world to him.

    They had been together in many a fight,
    And rode for many a mile;
    But never till now they had met the foe
    With a calm and hopeful smile.

    But now they gazed in each other's eyes
    With an awful ghastly loom;
    The tall dark one was the first to speak
    Saying "Charlie, mine hour is come.

    We'll both ride up yon hill together,
    But you must ride back alone.
    O promise a little trouble to take
    For me when I'm gone.

    I have a fair face on my breast,
    I'll wear it throughout the fight;
    With light blue eyes, and curly hair
    That shines like the morning light.

    Like the morning light she is to me,
    With her calm and her hopeful smile;
    Oh, little care I for the frowns of fate,
    For she promised to be my wife.

    I mind the day she said 'Good-bye',
    With a smile on her fair face;
    Oh, tell her tenderly where I fell,
    And where is my resting place."

    Tears dimm'd the blue eyes of the boy
    His voice was low with pain.
    "I'll do your bidding, comrade mine,
    Should I ride back again.

    But if you ride back and I am slain,
    You'll do as much for me;
    I have a mother beloved by all,
    Write to her tenderly.

    She was a mother beloved by all,
    Who had buried both husband and son;
    And I the last for her country's cause
    She cheer'd and sent me on.

    And now she prays like a waiting saint,
    Her fair face wet with woe;
    Oh, when she hears that I am slain,
    Her heart will break I know."

    But now the trumpet sounds the charge,
    In an instant hand join'd hand,
    With a parting word and away they go, --
    A brave devoted band.

    There was none to tell that fair-hair'd girl
    The words her true-love said,
    And none to tell that waiting mother
    The news that her boy was dead.

    For among the number of the slain
    Was the boy with the curly hair;
    The tall dark man who rode by his side
    Lay dead beside him there.
     
  16. I Am Blessed 24

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    WILLIE HAS GONE TO THE WAR

    (STEPHEN FOSTER) (1863)

    The bluebird is singing his lay,
    To all the sweet flow'rs of the dale,
    The wild bee is reaming at play,
    And soft is the sigh of the gale;

    I stray by the brookside alone,
    Where oft we have wander'd before,
    And weep for my lov'd one, my own,
    My Willie has gone to the war!
    Chorus:
    Willie has gone to the war, Willie, Willie, my lov'd one, my own;
    Willie has gone to the war, Willie, Willie my lov'd one is gone!

    'Twas here, where the lily bells grow,
    I last saw his noble young face,
    And now while he's gone to the foe,
    Oh! dearly I love the old place;

    The whispering waters repeat
    The name that I love o'er and o'er,
    And daisies that nod at my feet,
    Say Willie has gone to the war!

    The leaves of the forest will fade,
    The roses will wither and die,
    But spring to our home in the glade
    On fairy like pinions will fly;

    And still I will hopefully wait
    The day when these battles are o'er,
    And pine like a bird for its mate,
    Till Willie comes home from the war!
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS

    Twas in the days of seventy-six, when freemen, young and old
    All fought for independence then, each hero brave and bold;
    'Twas then the noble stars and stripes in triumph did appear
    And defended by brave patriots - the Yankee volunteers.

    Chorus:
    It is my great delight to march and fight
    Like a New York Volunteer - New York Volunteer!

    Now there's our city regiment, just see what they have done,
    The first to offer to the State to go to Washington
    To protect the Federal capital and the flag they love so dear
    And they done their duty nobly like New York Volunteers.

    The Rebels out in Maryland, they madly raved and swore,
    They'd let none of our Union troops back through to Baltimore
    But the Massachusetts Regiment, no traitors did they fear
    But fought their way to Washington like Yankee volunteers!
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA

    Bring the good old bugle, boys; we'll sing another song,
    Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along,
    Sing it as we used to sing it, fifty thousand strong,
    While we were marching through Georgia

    Chorus:
    Hurrah! Hurrah! we bring the Jubilee!
    Hurrah! Hurrah! the flag that makes you free!
    So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound,
    How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found,
    How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground,
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    Yes and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
    When they saw the honor'd flag they had not seen for years;
    Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    'Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!'
    So the saucy rebels said; it was a handsome boast;
    Had they not forgot, alas, to reckon with the host
    While we were marching through Georgia

    So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train,
    Sixty miles in latitude -- three hundred to the main;
    Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain,
    While we were marching through Georgia.
     
  19. Dr. Bob

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    WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME

    When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah, hurrah!
    We'll give him a hearty welcome then, hurrah, hurrah!
    The men will cheer, the boys will shout, The ladies they will all turn out;
    And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

    Get ready for the Jubilee, hurrah, hurrah!
    We'll give the hero three times three, hurrah, hurrah!
    The laurel wreath is ready now, To place upon his loyal brow,
    And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

    The old church bell will peal with joy, hurrah, hurrah!
    To welcome home our darling boy, hurrah, hurrah!
    The village lads and lassies say With loads of food they'll lead the way
    And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.
     
  20. Dr. Bob

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    BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM

    Yes we'll rally 'round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom
    We will rally from the hillside
    We'll gather from the plain,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom

    Chorus:
    The Union forever, Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
    Down with the traitor, Up with the star;
    While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom

    We are springing to the call
    Of our brothers gone before,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom
    And we'll fill the vacant ranks
    With a million free men more,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom

    We will welcome to our numbers
    The loyal, true, and brave,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom
    And although he may be poor
    He shall never be a slave,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom

    So we're springing to the call
    From the East and from the West,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom
    And we'll hurl the Rebel crew
    From the land we love the best,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom
     

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